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Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If you, your child, or a loved one were injured in a bicycle accident, Farahi Law Firm’s top-rated bicycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles, California, will fight aggressively on your behalf.
Our bicycle accident attorneys have handled a significant number of bicycle accident cases, including catastrophic injury, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder cases.
In Los Angeles, sunshine and decent weather conditions make for consistent outdoor activities. Bicycling is one of them. Although bicyclists are protected under California laws, those rights are not always appreciated or respected by motorists.
When there is a cycling accident, the injuries can be compounded because bicyclists are so vulnerable – their only protection is a helmet. Medical expenses, loss of income from work, and other financial damages can have a significant and sometimes permanent effect. If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, it’s critical to have an expert bicycle accident lawyer on your side.
Most Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In Los Angeles
Although bicyclists are governed by the same rules of the road as are any other persons on the road in Southern California, the fact that bicycles are smaller and lighter than other roadway users puts bicyclists at a disadvantage. It happens all too often that bicyclists can get sideswiped or crashed into or have their right of way ignored at an intersection. With more than a decade of experience handling personal injury cases, Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers at Farahi Law Firm have the experience. We know how to handle a wide variety of bicycle accident cases, including:
- Distracted Driving – It is one of the leading causes of all types of motor vehicle collisions. When drivers are paying attention to a text message or a call, or checking social media, they are more likely to cause accidents.
- Speeding – Speeding can be linked to a significant number of bicycle accident injuries and deaths. Injuries in speeding crashes are often catastrophic because of the impact. Whether it’s a bicyclist or a motor vehicle driver, they should always consider driving or riding within safe speed limits.
- Drunken Driving – Alcohol and drug impairment significantly decreases drivers’ abilities to make good decisions to avoid collisions and leads to too many crashes involving bicycles.
- Riding too Close to a Lane of Motor Vehicle Traffic – Hazardous situations are created by drivers who follow the cyclists too closely and who pass within less than three feet of them. Bicyclists should never presume that cars would leave enough space for them to drive their bikes safely. To use a shoulder lane or sidewalk could be better than using the right edge of a road.
- Unsafe Lane Changes – Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as all other motorists on the roads. Collisions involving motor vehicles making unsafe lane changes can be extremely dangerous. Before merging or changing lane, drivers must ensure that there is no bicyclist beside them or in their blind spot. Turning without checking for bicyclists is a frequent cause of bicycle accidents at intersections.
- Failure to Yield – Bicyclists can reasonably expect vehicles to yield the right of way, but they should never assume the drivers will yield. Failure to yield is another reckless driving example that poses significant risks to bicycle riders. Determining liability is always difficult in such instances. One should recruit a knowledgable bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss their legal options.
- Dooring – Dooring is another frequent cycle crash caused when motorists open the doors of their vehicles onto the cyclists’ paths. A sudden car door opening is a severe and seldom expected danger for bicyclists. Before opening a car door, both drivers and passengers in vehicles are required to look out for cyclists.
- Road Hazards – In Los Angeles, if you become a victim of a bicycle accident due to a road hazard, you may have a claim against the local government. Common road hazards that can cause bicycle accidents include: potholes, poor road designs, signal malfunctioning, uneven road surfaces, debris, oil, and fallen signs or trees, etc.
In all of these situations, the negligence of a motor vehicle driver can cause serious injury to a bicyclist. The bicyclist should have legal counsel dedicated to helping him or her recover the compensation he or she deserves. Our bicycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles provide each personal injury case the special attention that it deserves and help victims achieve the maximum financial recovery that is possible for them.
Common Injuries Stemming From Bicycle Accidents
In 2018, 857 bicycle riders were killed in US traffic crashes. Anytime there is a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, it is the bicyclist that is most likely to be harmed because they have little to no protection. Injuries in a bicycle accident can range from minor to severe. Here are some of the common injuries that bicyclists can sustain:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Facial injuries
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprains & Strains
- Internal organ injury
- Muscle tears & ligament rupture
- Cuts & Lacerations
- Road rash
Bicycle Accident Liability in Los Angeles
In a bicycle accident case in Los Angeles, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The defendant had a duty to ensure the safety of the victim.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The crash would not have existed if it not been about the negligent actions of the defendant.
- The defendant’s negligent actions caused the victim’s injuries and losses.
Many bicyclists ignore the fact that traffic rules and road signs apply to them as well. They should also behave responsibly while riding to prevent a collision. If a bicyclist’s unsafe actions cause a crash, the other party can sue them for their damages. This can significantly impact the bicyclist’s financial status as there is no provision of having any insurance cover for a bicycle. Moreover, if a cyclist is partially liable for the accident, his compensation amount will be reduced by his percentage share in the accident case in Los Angeles. Hiring a bicycle accident attorney immediately after a crash will ensure the victim receives rightful compensation. A competent bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash scene to determine what triggered the collision, who’s the liable party, and how to proceed further.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in California
Since the rise of bicycle riders on Los Angeles roads, there has been an uptick in the number of cycling crashes too. LA County has the highest number of fatal bicycle accidents in California. Here are some key 2018 bicycle crash findings for the state of California:
- In California, 155 bicyclists were killed in fatal crashes.
- Only 4% of bicyclists were known to be using a helmet in a fatal crash.
- Fatal bike accident rates in California are 3.9 per 1 million residents (2016-18).
- Los Angeles County accounted for 21.2% of California’s bicycle fatalities.
- LA county had 33 bicycle fatalities in 2018, the highest number in California state.
- 0.33 bicycle fatalities per one lakh population recorded in LA.
- 5 year moving average (2014-2018) of bicycle crash fatalities in California is 144.
Some bicycles safety facts in the United States (Source NHTSA 2017 data):
- Whatever the season, bicyclist deaths occurred quite often between 6 and 9 p.m.
- 75% of pedal cyclist deaths occurred in urban areas as compared to rural areas (25%) in 2017.
- Bicyclist fatalities for males were 8 times greater than females in 2017.
- 37% of all fatal bicyclist crashes in 2017 involved alcohol.
- Pedal cyclists, aged 50-to-54, had the highest fatality rate based on population (5.05 per million people).
- Children under the age of 15 accounted for 7% of all killed pedal cyclists.
- 96% of killed bicyclists died in single-vehicle collisions.
- In 82% of the deadly crashes, bicyclists were hit at the front of the car.
Bicycle safety guidelines that can help prevent crashes and injuries
- Wear a bike helmet and other safety equipment while cycling.
- Please follow all traffic rules while riding a bicycle.
- Equip your bike with reflectors and lights to improve driver visibility at night.
- Wear bright color clothes when riding.
- Stop riding alone or when visibility is low, e.g., at night or in bad weather.
- Teach your kids bicycle safety rules.
- Ensure that kids are following safety rules while cycling.
Why Choose Bicycle Accident Lawyers At Farahi Law Firm
Farahi Law Firm, APC, has a history of bringing justice and fair compensation to the bicycle accident victims. Our top-rated bicycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles are widely known for their successful representation of injury victims. We have been awarded several honors for our extensive knowledge, expertise, competence, and accomplishment in the field of personal injury. Contact us at (310) 610-4925 to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
The statute of limitations for a bicycle accident claim is the same as a personal injury case in the state of California. A plaintiff has to file a claim in a California jurisdiction within two years from the date of the accident.
Dangerous road defects or conditions can cause bicycle accidents. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for maintaining California’s roads. If road repairs are not made within a reasonable amount of time, and the condition leads to accidents, then Caltrans may be held liable for damages. When suing a government entity, it can be very difficult to put forward a claim for a number of reasons. Hire our skilled bicycle accident lawyers in Los Angeles if road defects are the reason for accidents.
It is a widespread myth that cyclists have lawfully more in common with pedestrians than with motorists. As per California DMV, bicyclists are entitled to the same privileges and obligations as motorists and are subject to the same laws and regulations. This means that the “pedestrians always have the right-of-way” rule does not extend to bicyclists in LA.
Everybody should wear helmets when cycling — even if the law doesn’t say it. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the most common at the same time, deadly injuries associated with bicycle accidents. Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle may help in minimizing the damage. Under California law:
- A person under the age of 18 should wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle.
- Bicycle passengers riding in a restraining seat are also required to wear a helmet.
- Bicyclists are required to wear a helmet while riding on a public road or a bicycle lane, and bicycle path, or a trail.
- Helmets sold or offered for sale by manufacturers should adhere to the applicable safety standards.
If you own a defective bicycle and suffered injuries because of a malfunctioning part, the bicycle manufacturer can be held liable for damages under product liability laws. If you were renting a bike, and it was not properly maintained or had defects that resulted in an accident causing injuries, you can recover your losses from the renting company. Proving these manufacturers wrong is an ardent job, which is often associated with insurance firms, always ready to deny your claim.
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